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Letters to the Editor

Rebuttal Letter to “Abortion hypocrisy a bit rich”

I am writing in response to Jennifer Zeiter’s Letter to the Editor published in the Friday, July 8 edition of Stu News Laguna and entitled “Abortion hypocrisy a bit rich.” 

For 25 years, I taught students how to read. What is easy to miss about reading is how difficult it is to do well. Reading trains the mind to be discerning and exact, particularly when making an argument. Careless arguments are commonly made, so much so that categories have been well-established to address – and warn us of – our errors in reasoning. These are known as logical fallacies. 

Ms. Zeiter’s letter commits two logical fallacies: first, the false equivalency, which is often referred to as the mistake of comparing apples to oranges; and, second, the ad hominen fallacy in which an argument strays from its line of reasoning and instead makes an attack against a person, or in this case a group of people, thereby abandoning one’s argument for what could be characterized as the cheap shot. 

To equate the state of being pregnant with a deadly virus that has killed 6.3 million people worldwide in 2 1/2 years is a non-starter because one simply cannot compare the two. Pregnancy is not a life-threatening communicable disease. Although it will now be a potentially life-threatening condition for many women. 

It is unfortunate that COVID deniers and those reluctant to protect members of their communities by rolling up their sleeves for a thoroughly researched vaccination have co-opted the phrase Our Bodies, Our Choice. This phrase is an outgrowth of the seminal book Our Bodies, Ourselves, which explained to women for the first time how their bodies worked. This phrase has long been used by women to underscore their right to have autonomy over their bodies, and specifically, all decisions about protecting their reproductive health. 

Women are no strangers to shame. Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, women have been shamed and assaulted when they have presented themselves at Planned Parenthood facilities across this country for services that encompass the entire scope of well-woman care. 

My husband and I were part of the rally at Main Beach the evening of Friday, June 24. There, we joined men and women – young and old – who were, like us, sincerely outraged over the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision handed down that morning overturning Roe v. Wade, a civil liberty that had been protected by legal precedent for 50 years. 

Ms. Zeiter, abortion needs to be destigmatized. It deserves its proper place in the arsenal of women’s health care and should be removed from the dogma of religion and the scourge of other’s moral judgment. It is a fundamental medical procedure, and I will tell you why. Medical advancements still cannot predict who will have a normal pregnancy. Normal pregnancies turn abnormal, and quickly, all the time. 

Now, 11 states ban or severely limit abortion. Eleven more states have laws poised to do the same, and several additional states are planning to pass new more restrictive laws. This means that in every one of these states, women who suddenly find themselves in a high-risk pregnancy face death. 

Medical staff will be increasingly reluctant to act in a timely manner for fear of being at the wrong end of the fluid abortion laws in their states. When it comes to saving the life of the mother, sometimes a few moments is all it takes to make the difference. Doctors are reluctant to help a woman through a miscarriage – one in three pregnancies ends in miscarriage – for the same reasons I have stated above.

Here is the biggest reason for destigmatizing abortion and abortion care: Not all abortions are created equal. In other words, in many states, abortion is not an elective procedure because at least 11 states make no exceptions for rape or incest. Please read that sentence again, and you will begin to understand why so many of us were on Main Beach Friday evening, June 24. (The anti-abortion activists are working now to criminalize abortion in ALL 50 states. How the Supreme Court plans on threading the needle on distinguishing between states’ rights v. federal on that decision will be one for the history books because it could never survive any true test of legal authority.) 

Imagine this: A 12-year-old girl is impregnated by her father and is forced to have the baby. This, Ms. Zeiter, is the furthest thing from a choice. It is a travesty, a denigration of the most fundamental right of being female. We, too, are entitled to the guarantees of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the reason for the outrage on June 24, 2022. 

Sarah E Vogel

Laguna Beach

Dee Perry is a Laguna Beach treasure

School board member Dee Perry was named the Woman’s Club “Woman of the Year” and deservedly so. I’m sorry to have missed the commemorative event due to an overseas vacation, but this great honor did not go unnoticed. Dee has been the singular voice of reason on the school board for years, questioning the rubber stamping of school initiatives and financial oversight. 

Most recently she was the only school board member to vote against the outrageously inflated salary increase for LB School District Superintendent Jason Villoria ($331,00 per year, plus benefits) for a small four school district with less than 3,000 students, plus three assistant superintendents, one of which received a whopping 14.7% raise, with the other two receiving a 7.7% raise. Villoria also received a $1,000 monthly stipend for cell phone, internet and “other expenses.”  That’s an additional $12,000 per year. That’s outrageous and fiscally irresponsible. 

By comparison, the Irvine Superintendent oversees 36,000 students and 43 schools with a similar salary. What is wrong with this picture?

I’m proud that Dee Perry’s contributions to our community and dedication to our schools and students was honored. She has been ostracized by the other members of the LB school board, who act like school yard bullies against Dee Perry. Shame on them. 

Thank you, Dee Perry for your service and for standing up. Let’s hope some new candidates run for school board this year in November’s elections to help support Dee Perry’s wisdom and responsible critical thinking. We could use some new blood to support accountability in our schools, listen to and respect parents, fight against the dumbing down of curriculum, revisionist history and race baiting divisive teachings, oversexualization of our children and continual floating of a bloated administrative bureaucracy. 

The filing window to run for school board is July 13th through August 7th.  Here’s the link to get started.

Candidates would be well advised to view the documentary “Whose Children Are They.” It’s an eye opener as to what the schools are teaching your children.

Now is your opportunity to make a difference.

Jennifer Zeiter

Laguna Beach

Would love to see a permanent lifeguard tower put at Woods Cove

I do not live on Moss Point in Laguna Beach. I did collect most of the signatures on the petition to our City Council. The majority of those who signed are everyday LB beach lovers and swimmers.

We all agree that Moss Point beach does not need a permanent lifeguard tower. It is our smallest beach with the fewest number of visitors. During high tide there is no beach and the rocks have to be used by the sun bathers. The tower will take away scarce beach space and be a major eyesore.

I walk my dog on Ocean Way every day, the street that provides access to Moss, Diamond, Pearl and Agate beaches. I usually am walking during the time that the relief lifeguards are running to their next beach assignment. I always joke with the guards about “how was it at Moss?” The overwhelming comment is “boring.”

I live on Woods Cove (which has no permanent lifeguard station) the next large double beach to the north that has hundreds of beach goers from 7 a.m. till approximately 9 p.m. during the season. This beach is also home to a fantastic tide pool that is enjoyed by young and old visitors and an added challenge for the lifeguards. It is a wonderful beach that represents all the diversity of California. 

I, and my fellow petition signers, would love to see the permanent lifeguard tower placed on Woods Cove to provide a better view access for the guards. There are only 15 beachfront homes on this cove. Only two homes on each side have permanent residents. It is the right time to make the investment of city resources in a permanent lifeguard tower to support our exceptional Marine Safety personnel on Woods Cove instead of on Moss Point. 

I believe that if you review the statistics from last season regarding lifeguard interventions on Moss Point and Woods Cove vs. all other beaches that Moss will have the fewest interventions by lifeguards.

Thank you for your service,

Jim Kelly 

Laguna Beach

Appealing to City Council for reconsideration of plan for permanent lifeguard tower at Moss Cove 

I own and reside on Ocean Way. I co-filed the appeal for the council meeting regarding the permanent concrete caisson lifeguard tower proposed for the Moss Beach Stair Rehabilitation project coming up this fall. I am out of the country and will not be able to attend the city council meeting, or any of the on-site visits many of you have been so kind to schedule. 

The proposed permanent tower came as a surprise as it was not discussed during the initial city neighbor meeting. It was later posted as part of the plan. 

I do understand Marine Safety’s interest in wanting to include it during the extensive stair rehabilitation, and I respect that enclosed towers are part of the future plans for all beaches and is part of the 2022 Strategic Plan.

The Planning Commission spent a fair amount of time and interest in debating its inclusion and two commissioners were firm on no votes for the permanent tower, with a third vote under consideration. Russell (city staff) interjected during deliberations that “this is what City Council wants” which swayed everything. One vote stuck, one definite vote said, “if this is what everyone wants, I will go with it,” though he originally felt it was not a good use of our budget.

I believe in a respectful way, that perhaps during City Council’s strategic planning session that there may not have been specific situations discussed beach by beach. “One size doesn’t fit all….” Perhaps it is not logical for our smallest beach to be grouped with all beaches.

I urge you to consider the options we are proposing as an alternative to a permanent tower that will forever change the tiny cove. A permanent tower is not needed, may not withstand the beating the stairs have always taken. It may be an invitation for vandalism and is out of scale for such a small pocket cove.

The petition I recently submitted was signed by genuinely concerned local neighborhood members. All very passionate about little Moss Cove. The petition was not a blanket effort to simply secure numbers of signatures.

Our lifeguards deserve what City Council has deemed to be a safe and comfortable work environment. I believe that can still be achieved with an enclosed temporary tower. The challenge may still remain in moving the tower up and down the new stairs, but it can be done to meet everyone’s needs and desires.

Please know we are all respectful of the time required for an appeal and we appreciate your efforts, time and interest.

Debbie Lewis

Laguna Beach

Saddened by closing of Royal Hawaiian

We are disappointed to learn of the sudden end of local Mariano Molteni’s friendly, family-run restaurant, Royal Hawaiian, this July 31. Why couldn’t its landlord, Mohammad Honarkar, allow Royal Hawaiian to operate through this calendar year? 

Please support Maro by patronizing Royal Hawaiian now and hopefully into the future.

Ellen and Roger Kempler

Laguna Beach


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